Dublin is the capital of Ireland and Paris is the capital of France. Both major cities are devastatingly charming in their own way: Dublin, with its brick alleyways and cozy corner pubs, and Paris, with its romantic cafes and world-famous art. The two are about 500 miles apart and between those 500 miles are two bodies of water, the Irish Sea and the English Channel. This makes ground travel a bit tricky; however, driving from one city to the other can, indeed, be done.
A ferry is needed to cross the Irish Sea and as for the English Channel, there are railways and bus routes that span it no problem. The train is perfect for taking in the sights (lush hills and miles of coastline) and making pit stops at all the major landmarks along the way—it's easier on the budget, too—but even still, with the time it takes to cover the distance, the fastest and most convenient travel is just to fly.
How to Get From Dublin to Paris
- Plane: 1 hour, 30 minutes, starting at $33
- Train: 10 hours, 30 minutes, starting at $200
- Bus: 21 hours, starting at $43
- Car: 21 hours, 225 miles (362 kilometers) of driving
According to Skyscanner, there are about 72 direct flights from Dublin to Paris per week and they range in price from $33 to $80 USD for a one-way ticket. The cheapest time to fly this route is February and the most expensive is October, November, and December (the typical holiday surge).
The flight takes about an hour and a half and there are nine airlines doing direct flights, including international carriers like Aer Lingus (most popular) and Air France and regional companies such as Ryanair. There are several flights daily arriving at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. Flights to Beauvais Airport located on the far outskirts of Paris tend to be a cheaper option, but you'll need to plan on at least an extra hour and 15 minutes to get to the city center.
If you're arriving by plane, you'll want to survey the Paris ground transport options before arriving. These include commuter trains, taxis, airline-run coaches, and municipal buses.
Another way to get from Dublin to Paris is by a combination of ferry and train travel, but you should expect a longer trip with multiple transfers. The easiest route is to take the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, Wales, then continue on to London via train, where you would board the high-speed Eurostar train, which traverses the English Channel via the "Chunnel" to Paris. The London-to-Paris route on the Eurostar leaves from the St Pancras International rail station in central London and arrives at Paris Gare du Nord station.
This option is certainly not for the hurried traveler, and it most definitely isn't for the budget-conscious, either, seeing as the total of two train tickets and a ferry ticket can easily wound up being $200 or more. Flying is doubtless easier, faster, and cheaper; however, the train can be good for a leisurely stop in The Big Smoke if that appeals to you.
If you thought traveling by train was going to be time consuming, then think again: Covering the miles by bus takes twice the amount of time the train does. First, travelers would board the bus in Dublin and immediately take the bus ferry over to mainland UK, then the bus drives to London, where travelers transfer to another bus that will take them to Paris, an additional eight hours.
The good news is that the bus services—the National Express, FlixBus, and Eurolines FR—depart regularly throughout the day and fares for the entire journey are pretty cheap (starting at $43). It does work out to be the cheapest if you factor in travel to and from an airport (and luggage costs, if necessary). The only bad news is that it takes about 21 hours, but hey, what better way to see the UK countryside?
While it takes just as long as riding the bus, ferrying a car to France and then driving the rest of the way will be much more comfortable and fun if you happen to be with a few road tripping mates. First, drivers would take the car ferry all the way from Dublin to France, an 18-hour boat ride that costs between $35 and $85 USD per ticket (including the vehicle). After arriving in Cherbourg, France, you'd be left with a humble three-and-a half-hour-drive to Paris; however, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, it could be difficult to find a rental car company that allows for taking the car outside of the UK entirely. Then, there's the issue of Paris traffic, which—make no mistake—can get very bad. Lastly, international travelers must keep in mind that Irish people drive on the left side of the road (thus, drivers' seats are on the right) while the French drive on the right side of the road. You might be better off sticking with a flight after all.
What to See in Paris
Rest assured that no matter how you wound up there, you'll be absolutely delighted at the splendor of this famous city. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, "Paris is always a good idea." There's a reason the celebrity crowd has flocked to the historic and artful hub for decades upon decades and it's because the place downright oozes old-world charm.
Romantics will swoon at the the famous sites of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe whereas foodies might be more intrigued by the bries, the camemberts, and the rich burgundies, made from grapes harvested from just down the road.
Art aficionados wouldn't want to miss the Louvre (a given), nor the National Museum of Modern Art (MNAM) and the Musée d'Orsay. Paris is paradise for the culture seeker; there are countless plays, operas, ballets, and dance concerts happening throughout the city on a nightly basis, too.